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[SF] Humm to leave Campton Place

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In today's Chron's Inside Scoop, GraceAnn Walden reports that Daniel Humm will be leaving Campton Place at the end of the year to take over as chef of Eleven Madison Park in NYC.


I'm hoping to get a reservation before he leaves, but I'll have to move fast. Any Mouthfullers care to join me?

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Oh, nice boost for 11 Mad Park.  But whither Kerry?  Surely not manning the al fresco pass at Shack Attack - although that must be every chef's dream.  :D
Kerry Heffernan (not the female chef with the same name in the Bay Area) had been the chef at Eleven Madison Park, but left three months ago to run the group's new company, Hudson Yards Catering, according to Richard Coraine, chief operating officer of Meyer's company.
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In today's Chron's Inside Scoop, GraceAnn Walden reports that Daniel Humm will be leaving Campton Place at the end of the year to take over as chef of Eleven Madison Park in NYC.


I'm hoping to get a reservation before he leaves, but I'll have to move fast. Any Mouthfullers care to join me?

Yes. Pending a payday and certain other parameters. :D

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I managed to get one of the last reservations on Open Table, so Squeat and I met at 5:30 PM last night to eat at Campton Place. We were seated in the alcove in back, which turned out to be the perfect thing. Alas, my camera really misbehaved, and I lost many shots in the low lighting that were out of focus.


Because Squeat doesn't eat seafood, we opted out of the chef's tasting, and ordered 4 courses instead. These were augmented by many little treats that the chef sent out.


Because I assumed I had accurate photos of the menu, I didn't write down all the names. So I don't have a complete and accurate list, hence the "something somethings" below. :rolleyes:


"Fantasy" of artisan foie gras with butternut squash and cranberries (Tana)

Roasted beet salad with jicama and spicy vinaigrette (Squeat)


Crispy potatoes with something something something (Squeat)

Ceviche of Maine lobster, Nantucket Bay scallops, and geoduck clam with blood orange and fennel (Tana)


Dover sole with leek fondue, truffle something something and Beurre Blanc something something (Tana)

"Cappucino" of parsnips with sweetbreads and white truffle oil (Squeat)


Chartreuse of Berkshire pig with black truffles (Tana)

"Composition" of Somebody's Hill Farm milk-fed veal with wild mushrooms (Squeat)


The stand-outs were:


• Maine lobster with New England scallops, fennel and blood orange (and what a gorgeous dish that was)<BR>

• Foie gras crème brûlée (amuse bouche, gratis)<BR>

• Squeat's veal dish that was maybe the tenderest piece of meat I've ever had. (Squeat gave me a big bite!)


A somewhat elderly Japanese couple was seated next to us, and I worried that we would bother them by exchanging bites or, frankly, mooing in appreciation of the courses. But they turned out to be the most wonderful people: cousins, actually. They themselves are foodies, and we talked about San Francisco restaurants for the entire meal. Luckily courses were staggered so well that conversation and eating never collided...I am convinced that the kitchen knew we were visiting with each other, and let there be lapses in the immediate arrival of dishes to one table or the other.


She was so entranced with my little tabletop tripod that she wanted me to take some pictures of their dishes, some of which I managed.


Anyway, I'll post pictures when I download and resize them.


Chef Humm came out to greet tables, relatively early in the evening. He is a radiant young man, and it was a pleasure to meet him. I asked him (of course) what he's going to do without all the great farms, and he laughed. He said he grew up in Switzerland and is used to a more seasonal menu anyway. His new restaurant is right near the Greenmarket.


Service was nearly perfect, with one notable lapse. The sommelier made two outstanding recommendations for glasses of wine, which included (with the "fantasy" of foie gras--I expected lingerie, at least) Tokaji, Kiralyudvar, Cuvée Ilona, Tokaj, Hungary 2000 and (with the lobster) the best sake I've ever had: Sake, Duewazakura, Dewasansan Nama Ganshu, Junmai Ginjo, Yamagata, Japan. With the pig, he recommended a Cabernet Franc, and it was not good. It never opened up, and in fact it smelled more like tequila. When I noted this to our waiter, it was removed from the bill, but no replacement or remedy was offered. That was kind of too bad.


We declined the cheese cart, and that took some restraint. (I wish they would be more up front about the costs, which were not listed anywhere. Also, the menu was nearly impossible to read, since it was printed on a translucent parchment that was easily smeared.) We also didn't want dessert, being perfectly satisfied.


So they sent a little bowl of fragrant beignets to our table, which were as good as those at Cafe du Monde. And when we left, the hostess handed me a little silver cardboard box with treats for later. That contained a half dozen or so little confections, including chocolate salted nuts, coconut truffle, and other stuff. That was breakfast. :blush:


Squeat can add more.

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'Something-somethings' re'veal'ed:


My second course was "Crispy Potatoes with Robiola Valsassina Cheese and Périgord Truffles". These were both fun and amazingly good: they looked exactly like Tater Tots. Three cylinders lined up on end on a long plate, topped with a cap of small greens and herbs, and dotted between and around with the truffles. Upon cutting them open, they proved to be not minced but solid potato, with the melted cheese in their hollowed-out cores. Fun!


Tana's third was "Dover Sole with Leek-Truffle Fondue and Beurre Blanc 'Châteaux Chalon'".


My veal was from Four Story Hill Farm, and was indeed incredibly tender, surrounded by a most delicious veal reduction sauce and drizzled with garlic olive oil (both administered tableside).


That foie gras crème brûlée amuse was fantastic. As another surprise complimentary course, I received a foamy carrot/apple/ginger soup served cold in a cocktail glass. It was very good. (They gave Tana something here, too, but I forget what.) Also, even before our amuse, the chef sent out a plate of seven or eight tiny, pretty, delicate taste bits that were like savory mignardises. They were beautiful and delicious, including: a tiny poached oyster (with Armagnac?), a salmon Napoleonette, a circle of ahi with I forget what on top, a mini puff pastry with cream of leek mousse inside (I thought the waiter had said 'Cream of Wheat' -- oh, how we laughed), and what was shaped like a tiny carrot that turned out to be very thin wonton-skin-like pastry wrapped around tiny bits of tasty sweetbreads and fried.


Service was indeed exemplary except for the bum wine incident. I had a wonderful time.


Humm really is exceptionally talented, and our loss is definitely New York's gain.


Edit to clarify: It was the cheese menu that did not list prices anywhere (nor were any pricing options proffered by the waiter who offered us the cheese cart). The main dinner menu explains the pricing for the various multiple-course/tasting menu options. Both menus were on that paper and a bit of a chore to read.


Edit again to add really cute quotation marks around the word 'veal' within the word 'revealed'. (Sorry, couldn't resist. Should have, I know.)

Edited by Squeat Mungry
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Thanks, Tana and Squeat for a great report. It was a wonderful commentary on what sounds like a wonderful meal.


Has Campton Place been a tough ticket for reservations in the past?

I don't know how difficult it was to get them before, but probably their popularity spiked after San Francisco Magazine's praiseful article on the top restaurants in the city came out, and then again after the Chronicle gave them (and only six other restaurants in the area) four stars.


Then there was a last-minute stampede for reservations because Humm is leaving. The couple next to us was there for the same reason. Squeat himself had tried Open Table for all the remaining days, and couldn't get anything that appeared to be open to come up when clicking through. Somehow or another, my only attempt at getting one came through.


The room wasn't full by any means, not even when we left at 8:00 or so. It is a very attractive room, though, one of the prettiest I've been in, in a conservative way. It would be a good place to stage a movie scene for rich/elegant.


It was a lovely meal in every regard, especially for the company (and that of our neighbors, too). Poor Squeat though, with his cracked ribs. We laughed too much, and he might have blown a gasket or two.





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